Marina has volunteered hundreds of hours working to make Project Milagro a reality

 Marina has volunteered hundreds of hours working to make Project Milagro a reality

Las Delicias, Las Animas and El Rosario are three small, semi-rural villages of over 8,000 people located in the eastern limit of the Department of San Salvador. Most of its residents are small-scale farmers, employees or wage laborers in surrounding factories. The average annual income is approximately $1,000.

Currently, the three villages have access to a public health center and private services in the nearby town of San Martin. In 2000, ENLACE partnered with a local church to install a medical extension clinic in the community. The clinic provides affordable medical attention and medicines. The community also has a very high number of sanitation facilities.

What they lack is clean drinking water. These communities have been trying to implement a clean water system for over fifty years. The majority of the population (87%) purchases its water from trucks which carry water from one of the most highly contaminated rivers in El Salvador. The families use this water to cook, drink, and wash. Households pay on average $25 per month for this water, close to 30% of their income.

Plans for a water system have been in the making since the 1970s, but the communities never had the proper support organizationally or financially to implement the system. In 2002, a local church outreach committee and community association began to make a new plan with the local mayor’s office. ENLACE, community organizations and the mayor’s office designed a system to provide clean water to Las Delicias, El Rosario and Animas. The system will provide clean water to 1,950 families. The mayor’s office agreed to drill the well and install the pump. ENLACE and the community organizations agreed to build the tank and distribution system. ENLACE is in the process of training a local water board to manage the construction and operation of the system. ENLACE will also provide hygiene education and training.